Malmo 2-1 Rangers: Late Steven Davis strike gives Rangers Champions League qualifying lifeline

Match report as Soren Rieks and Veljko Birmancevic score within two minutes in the second half; Steven Davis strike sees Rangers pull a goal back in the Champions League third-round qualifying first leg; Rangers welcome Malmo to Ibrox next Tuesday as they look to overturn the deficit

Football journalist

Tuesday 3 August 2021 20:11, UK

Steven Davis’ late strike handed Rangers a much-needed lifeline in their Champions League third-round qualifier, losing the first leg 2-1 at Malmo.

Steven Gerrard’s side had seen the better of the chances in the opening half. Ryan Kent was involved in many of the good attacking moves, including a blocked shot just before the break.

But Rangers were sucker punched early in the second period, playing in front of a raucous home crowd. Soren Reiks slotted home the opener in the 47th minute, before Veljko Birmancevic (49) – who had set him up – saw a shot home via the bottom of the post to ultimately seal the victory for the hosts.

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However, there was late drama to be had when, with the last kick of the game, Davis (90+5) fired home from the edge of the box to half the deficit and give Rangers a fighting chance.

It still leaves the Scottish Premiership champions with a huge task on Tuesday, when they welcome Malmo to Ibrox and attempt to set up a Champions League play-off tie with either Ludogorets or Olympiakos.

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What’s next?

Rangers travel to Dundee United on Saturday in the Scottish Premiership, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 12.30pm. They will then welcome Malmo to Ibrox on Tuesday evening; kick-off 8pm.

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